Do you want to start a successful WordPress website but are unsure of where to start? If you answered ”Yes,” then you’ve come to the right place.
Running a WordPress website is no walk in the park, but with the right strategies, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Learn from this guide’s 10-point checklist to follow as your roadmap to running a successful WordPress website.
1. Set Up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an essential tool for tracking your website and campaign performance.
It shows essential metrics that is vital for understanding your audience so you can come up with topics that are highly relevant to them. Here are some of the benefits of installing Google Analytics:
- You can see how many people visit your site each day and where they’re coming from. For instance, if you’re asking poll questions on Instagram, you’ll see how many visitors come from that to your website.
- You can identify trends in visitor behavior, such as which pages are most popular or which keywords people are searching.
- Youc an tell where visitors spend most of their time on your page (the “funnel”), so that if they’re not making it to key pages (e.g., the Product Page), you know where to direct them next.
- You can see how long people stay on each page and how they move through multiple pages on your site, so that you can make sure everything is easy to find and navigate.
- You can track conversions (e.g., sign-ups or purchases), so that you know whether specific campaigns are working well or not — and why
2. Site Speed Optimization
Google confirmed that site speed is a ranking factor, and the average site visitor does not wait more than three seconds for a page to load.
A web page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load hurts the user experience, causing you to lose a lot of potential visitors.
Ensure your WordPress website is fast and responsive. Use WordPress plugins that help you optimize your site’s speed, such as WP-Optimize.
Use tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom to see how fast your site loads on desktop and mobile devices.
3. Keep Website Mobile Friendly
It’s estimated that up to 50% of searches are conducted on mobile devices.
If your site doesn’t look good or perform well on smartphones, you’re going to lose a lot of potential visitors.
Ensure your website has a responsive design. It needs to automatically adjust the layout of your pages based on the size and orientation of the user’s device.
This means that your content is readable no matter what type of device someone is using to access your site.
Essentially, your content needs to be readable on all devices.
Mobile-friendliness also contributes to your website’s search engine rankings. In 2015, Google began testing a site’s mobile-friendliness as a factor in their search rankings.
4. Secure Website
Improve your website’s security by installing plugins such as Wordfence, Sucuri, and Jetpack Backup. The plugins help keep hackers out and protect your site from malware and spam.
Installing a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate can also strengthen your website’s security.
An SSL certificate encrypts data between your visitor and your website, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers.
Additionally, Google considers secure websites more trustworthy than “unsecure” sites. As such, ensuring your site is secure can increase your web page’s chances of ranking higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
An SSL-certified website runs on the HTTPS protocol, which gives it the “https” at the start of the URL. Get SSL certificates along with your domain name from platforms such as Namecheap or GoDaddy.
5. Ensure User-Friendly Navigation
Navigation should be intuitive, clear, and consistent across all your website’s pages. If a user doesn’t find a particular page or section on your site easily, they might get frustrated and leave.
Provide seamless website navigation to your visitors with a user-friendly and accessible menu bar.
Place the menu bar at the top of every page so it’s always visible. Don’t use more than five or six links per row and ensure there are no duplicates.
The menu bar should also be dynamic and change depending on what users look for on your site.
If you have a blog, ensure that a link to your blog posts appears in the menu bar. If you are running a store, include a shopping cart icon on your website so that users can access it easily.
6. Use Strong Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons and Forms
Ensure your CTAs stand out from other elements on the page. It should be big enough so that users see it without having to squint or zoom in on their screen.
Use contrasting colors and strong fonts that are easy on the eyes. If possible, add an image or illustration next to the text, so people know quickly what they’re supposed to do next.
Your CTA should also clearly communicate what happens if the user clicks on it—whether that’s signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. It should align with what people expect when they visit your website.
For example, if your website sells robust ABA data collection software for behavioral health professionals, instead of an “Order Now” button; use something with more context , such as “Book a Demo Now.”
7. Install Effective SEO Plugins
WordPress is a great content management system, but it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of more advanced systems.
Fortunately, there are dozens of plugins that help you optimize your WordPress website for search engines. These include All-In-One SEO Pack, Yoast SEO, and Google XML Sitemaps.
Besides content relevance and readability, SEO plugins also recommends or require certain HTML tags, meta descriptions, and other changes relevant to SEO success.
The right combination of plugins helps you achieve everything from simple keyword optimization to more complex tasks like creating a sitemap that search engines use to crawl your website easier.
8. Keep WordPress, Themes, and Plugins up to date
Keeping all of your plugins, themes, and WordPress itself updated is essential to prevent security vulnerabilities on your site and keep it running optimally.
Developers constantly update their software to add new features and enhancements and fix bugs and security issues.
If you don’t install the required website, themes, and plugins updates you can leave your site vulnerable to attacks by hackers. .
9. Optimize for Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to any activity that does not involve changing your website code or content.
The goal is to get other relevant websites to link to yours to improve your ranking in SERPsand drive more traffic to your site.
Writing compelling and valuable content is an excellent way to start building backlinks.
Doing so increases the chances of other reputable websites referencing your article and giving you credit by linking to your original page’s post.
10. Regularly Update Content
Your WordPress website can look dated if you don’t regularly update your content, making it is less appealing to visitors.
Keep your website fresh by posting new content regularly.
The more you update your site’s content, the more value you can offer visitors, encouraging them to return to see what’s new.
If you don’t have the time or expertise to do this yourself, hire someone to help you, such as a Freelancer, or buy SEO articles from experts.
Publish content relevant to your audiences, industry, and marketing efforts It makes it easier for people find your site when searching for keywords related to your business.
How many of the items have you already checked off?
If you’ve checked off all ten items on this checklist, your WordPress website is likely on its way to success. If not, then it’s time to get started.
While many other factors can make your WordPress site successful, having a solid base to build on can put your site in a better position to succeed.
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